The school-based SLP Facebook group has been all abuzz lately with therapists finding Cariboo left and right at thrift stores and yard sales, and wondering how others use the game for therapy purposes.
I’ve been using Cariboo since I first started at my job a few years ago. I work with preschool kids, but elementary kids love this game, too! There’s just something about the suspense of whether a ball lies underneath the door being opened, and that final reward of the treasure box popping open!
The game is frequently requested and highly motivating, so I use it all the time. I have Cariboo cards to go along with each theme I use in therapy, and wanted to make them available to you, too!
My latest TpT creation is a compilation of of 28 themed sets of Cariboo cards, for a total of 450 cards to use with your Cariboo game!! You’ll be set on Cariboo cards for the whole year!
It includes a set of each of the following themes:
Getting To Know You, Back to School/School Supplies, Sports, Brown Bear Brown Bear, Farm, Fall, Fire Safety, Halloween, Dinosaurs, Winter, Christmas, Arctic Animals, Polar Bear Polar Bear, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, Insects/Bugs, Circus, Summer/Beach. Ocean Animals, Transportation, Jungle/Zoo, and THREE sets of cards for Community Helpers (45 cards in all for Community Helpers! includes community helpers, their vehicles, and their tools/items associated with them)
Each themed set has a different color border, making it easy to differentiate which cards belong with each other.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Check out the Cariboo cards and see if it’s something you may like. While you’re there, download the preview for a Getting To Know You FREEBIE set of Cariboo cards to use during the first week of school, or anytime you get a new student!!
In addition to SLPs all over the country finding Cariboo, another topic as of late in some of the Facebook groups is “How the heck does everyone store all their TpT materials?!” Well, let me show you how I store all of my Cariboo cards!
I keep a binder that stores all of my cards. I hole-punched cardstock and put Velcro on both the Cardstock and the laminated Cariboo cards. I keep all the cards for a theme on the same page. I like the binder method because I can put the pages in the order of my themes for the year, and it’s easily accessible from either a desk drawer or a bookshelf.
I also keep Velcro on my actual game. For me, it just makes it easier to swap pictures in and out quickly, because I don’t have to slide them in just right– I just slap them on and go (because let’s be honest, I’m pretty much *always* in a hurry!) This way, I also don’t have to worry about the pictures sliding off, either.
So, I have all the cards, and I have a way of organizing and storing the cards.. Now what? How do I USE all those cards? Of course, everyone’s caseloads are comprised of different needs, but here’s a few ways I use Cariboo:
*Listening for Details/Basic Inferences: I describe a picture on one of the boxes, and they guess which one I’m talking about– When they find the correct one, they open the box to see if a ball is underneath.
*WH Questions: This ties in to the basic inferences– after they name the item, often times, I’ll ask them a question about it to get in some extra practice with WH questions– something almost all my students need! I like to use Cariboo to work on story comprehension questions, as well. I’ll have pictures of items or characters from the story and they use those pictures to help answer my questions about the story. Cariboo makes it SO easy to incorporate those much-needed visuals for my students!
*Describing: I have worked on some early, simple describing with some of the older preschool students (going to kindergarten) in mixed groups with peer models within the classroom. One of the students describes a picture to their peers, and the peer whose turn it is has to find the correct picture and then open that box.
*Concepts: I’ve made a couple Cariboo sets depicting basic concepts (ie find the snowman with a tall hat, find the boy standing in front of the tree, behind the tree, etc..), but you could also work on top/middle/bottom with any pictures. For example, if you had the dinosaur set on there, you could “Pick a dinosaur in the top row” or talk about what’s on top vs under the door– Are the pictures on top of the door or under the door? Are the balls hiding on top of the door or under/below the door? Was there a ball under there or was it empty?
*Vocabulary: As I said earlier in the post, I swap out pictures almost every week to go along with our theme. Cariboo makes it super easy to work on picture naming skills (which, again, many of my students struggle with!) and to do rechecks of themed vocabulary words.
If I were to be told I could only use ONE therapy tool for the rest of my career, it would be Cariboo. The kids never get tired of it, and as you can see, I can target a variety of different goals with just this one game! Do you use Cariboo in any ways I haven’t listed here? Tell me your ideas!
UPDATE: An expansion pack has now been created to target additional vocabulary, including pronouns and verbs